OVER 87,000 families are living in squats in Spain.
The figure equates to around 270,000 people, an increase of 75% in the last 10 years.
The stark figures were revealed by research foundation Instituto Cerdà, which believes an increase in poverty, the scarcity of social housing stock and existence of empty houses have contributed to the rise.
According to its report, up to 90% of the affected dwellings have been squatted peacefully, with many people living in houses that are either old, unfinished or without an occupancy certificate.
Up to 60% make illegal connections to supply lines to obtain basics such as electricity and water.
Around 35% of Barcelona’s Nou Barris neighbourhood’s housing stock has been squatted, one of the highest rates in Spain.
In Andalucia, 1,465 homes are said to be squatted in Sevilla province, 1,200 in Granada and 646 in Malaga.
So far, the Junta has attempted to deal with the issue by renovating some of its housing stock o make more affordable houses available by 2020.
Social housing only accounts for 2,5 % of houses in Spain, much lower than the European Union average of 15 %.